After a coronavirus outbreak in their clubhouse affected four players and nine staff members, Nationals manager Davey Martinez expressed how grateful he was that a majority of those placed into health protocols were vaccinated.
“I truly believe, from what I’ve seen, thank God that most of us if not all of us are vaccinated and it does help,” Martinez told reporters Thursday morning. “The vaccination does help. I couldn’t even imagine going through this with people that aren’t vaccinated but the vaccination does help. There were some mild symptoms and that’s all it was so I’m really glad that we were all vaccinated.”
The Nationals announced Thursday morning that catcher Alex Avila and relievers Daniel Hudson and Austin Voth would be joining shortstop Trea Turner, who left Tuesday’s game against the Philadelphia Phillies due to testing positive, on the IL. Major League Baseball was forced to postpone Wednesday’s game between the Nationals and Phillies when the outbreak was discovered. The contest will be made up as part of a straight doubleheader Thursday.
According to Martinez, all but one of the individuals that tested positive were vaccinated. Avila was already on the IL with dual calf strains and had yet to complete a running program before being named in Thursday’s announcement, but the other three players were all on the active roster. Perhaps the most heavily affected part of the Nationals’ organization is their coaching staff. Martinez will be working with essentially a different staff in the dugout Thursday, including using injured outfielder Kyle Schwarber as his unofficial bench coach.
“Everybody seems to be OK health-wise, so that’s great,” Martinez said. “Just like always, we’re gonna get through this. We’re gonna get through this together and hopefully, everybody comes back soon.”
In corresponding moves, the Nationals recalled infielder Luis García and reliever Andrés Machado from Triple-A Rochester while reinstated catcher Yan Gomes and reliever Tanner Rainey from the IL. Catcher Tres Barrera was also optioned to Triple-A. Max Scherzer will get the ball for the first game of the doubleheader despite being the subject of heavy trade rumors heading into Friday’s 4 p.m. deadline. Patrick Corbin is slated to start Game 2.
Like Scherzer, Turner and Hudson have both had varying levels of interest from other teams in trade talks and it’s unclear how their placement on the IL affects their availability.